The attorney general of Louisiana has filed a lawsuit against Fresenius Medical Care over its GranuFlo and NaturaLyte dialysis solutions, claiming that the company defrauded the state’s Medicare program by not warning about the increased risk of cardiac arrest and heart attack that eventually led to a recall of the medications. The complaint was filed last week in the 19th Judicial District Court, and alleges that Fresenius failed to warn close to 100 Louisiana dialysis clinics about the importance of monitoring patients during dialysis treatment with GranuFlo or NaturaLyte. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of GranuFlo or NaturaLyte dialysis solutions, contact a skilled product liability lawyer today for legal help.
Fresenius Medical Care not only manufactures dialysis products like GranuFlo and NaturaLyte, but the company also owns and operates many of its own dialysis clinics throughout the United States. Back in November 2011, Fresenius issued an internal memo warning doctors at its own clinics that GranuFlo and NaturaLyte treatment may result in higher-than-expected bicarbonate levels – an issue that resulted in 941 instances of sudden cardiac arrest during dialysis treatment in 2010 alone. Unfortunately, Fresenius failed to issue the same warning to non-Fresenius treatment centers that also used GranuFlo and NaturaLyte, putting dialysis patients at unnecessary risk for serious injury.
After Fresenius’ internal memo was leaked to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012, the company finally sent a warning letter to all medical professionals in March of that year, and the FDA issued a GranuFlo and NaturaLyte recall. The attorney general’s lawsuit comes amid a growing number of complaints brought against Fresenius Medical Care on behalf of patients throughout the country who allege that side effects of GranuFlo and NaturaLyte dialysis solutions caused them to suffer complications like sudden cardiac arrest. Fresenius Medical Care currently faces more than 1,800 product liability lawsuits over GranuFlo and NaturaLyte complications, which have been centralized for pretrial proceedings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
According to the attorney general’s lawsuit, Fresenius knew about the risk of sudden cardiac arrest linked to GranuFlo and NaturaLyte as early as 2004, but failed to provide adequate warnings to consumers or the medical community. The suit alleges that Fresenius violated Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and accuses the company of defrauding the state of Louisiana and its residents, doctors and dialysis treatment centers. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious medical complication you believe to be linked to GranuFlo or NaturaLyte dialysis treatments, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by dangerous medications, and can put you in touch with a reputable GranuFlo attorney today.